Since being launched on previous gen consoles late last year, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time has been receiving high praise from fans and reviewers alike. Having recently been released on PS5 and Xbox Series earlier this month, as well as being launched on PC yesterday, the game is likely going to be treat for new and old fans alike. However, sources are indicating that despite being a single-player game, the PC port requires an "always online" connection.
A direct sequel to the original games, It's About Time will likely bring up a lot of ill feelings among gamers about publishers requiring single-player games to always be connected to the internet. It's more than likely that Activision have done this for Crash Bandicoot 4 in order to prevent piracy, but it's unlikely to win favor with those who do not wish to play a non-multiplayer game that only works online, or who have an unreliable internet connection.
While this is nothing new, especially when playing games through Activision's Battle.net system which Crash 4 does, it's still arguably a point of contention for a lot of gamers. Going as far back as 2013 with the first announcements of the Xbox One, Microsoft became overnight villains after saying it originally intended the consoles to require an "always online" connection. The company eventually performed a 180 on this, most likely due to the community backlash, but it hasn't stopped other companies from pulling off since.
However, gamers and the wider community seem to strike out against such practices, even if always online content is potentially useful from a DRM perspective. Even the fan-made Sonic Mania had to drop its always online feature after outrage from fans. Whether Crash Bandicoot fans will hit back at Activision in a similar way remains to be seen, but it's likely that there will be a lot of angry emails and social media posts that will be doing the rounds.
Crash Bandicoot is one of those franchises that just strikes a balance between appealing to nostalgia while also enticing in newer players. With the release of Crash 4 and the Crash Bandicoot: On the Road mobile game, it's a series that has been given a new life, partly due to the N Sane Trilogy remaster from 2017. However, this always online business with the PC port is more than likely going to upset a lot of fans and while the game itself is highly praised, the fact that it needs a constant internet connection despite not being multiplayer will likely be a thorn in many people's sides.
Regardless of whether players see the relic challenges as one of the best parts of the Crash Bandicoot games or as just a quick add-on to increase replayability, there is no denying that the platinum relics in Crash Bandicoot are some of the toughest challenges that AAA platforming games have to offer. From The Lab to Hot Coco to the N. Sane Trilogy exclusive Stormy Ascent, players have had to endure some excruciatingly difficult platinum challenges.
However, the N. Sane Trilogy does offer gamers some simpler challenges, with a handful of easy platinum relics sporadically placed throughout the games, ensuring that players can take a break from some of the more rage-inducing stages.
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